The Health Service Executive has denied a recruitment freeze is in place across the Saolta University Healthcare Group.
This is despite a letter sent to senior HSE directors by the Deputy Director General of the HSE stating a decision has been made to suspend recruitment for a period of three months .
On March 29th last, a letter written by the Chief Operations Officer at the HSE Liam Woods, stated recruitment restrictions would be put in place until the end of June due to the “financial pressures in the system from recruitment last year”.
The issue was raised in this region last week by independent local election candidate Barry Gallagher who claimed some people who applied for, were offered and accepted posts within the HSE, were later told the jobs were put on hold.
Ocean Fm news subsequently contacted the Saolta University Healthcare Group, which covers Sligo and Letterkenny University Hospitals, to clarify the situation in this region.
A spokesperson says there is NOT a recruitment freeze in the HSE and in fact staff numbers are up significantly since the start of the year.
They say there is on-going capacity to recruit new funded posts and also to replace critical clinical posts.
However it does say there are controls in place on an interim basis to up to the 30th June to ensure that the HSE is demonstrating it is living within the available resources provided to it by Government.
The statement goes on to say this DOES mean that in some Hospital Groups and CHOs non-critical replacement posts will be paused but if does not confirm if the Saolta Group will be one of those it.
Meanwhile the Minister for Health Simon Harris has warned that the health service cannot allow a “runaway train” regarding the cost of recruitment of additional staff.
The Minister said it was a situation where hospital groups which had not submitted plans in line with their budgets were being told that they could not recruit more staff until they did so.